Friday, May 27, 2016

Tracy Aviary

Before I came back to Malaysia, I had the privilege to pay a visit to Tracy Aviary, a popular bird sanctuary in Salt Lake City. This 8-acre land located in Liberty Park, SLC offers exhibits, shows and bird-feeding activities. I was provided with free entrance in exchange for a write-up for this place. I've heard so many people saying what a nice place this is, so I was really excited to take a look for myself.

This is how the main building looked from the outside. It has a modern, simplistic and artsy feel.

The gift shop close to the entrance is full of quirky and artistic stuff. 
I particularly love the indoor tree decoration, reminds me of the wild.

A manpower merry-go-round close to the entrance.

Dani posing as Princess Mononoke. 

The beautiful teepee!

Before every enclosure, there is a sign explaining the types of animals that reside within and some basic information of the species, including diet, habitat and nesting.

It's a bit sad to see the great Golden Eagle in this small space, but I feel better knowing it's for its own good. The eagles placed here are either injured or disabled, making them unfit for life in the wild. Hence, they are put under the care of Tracy Aviary.

Quaint little flower steps that Dani calls volcano plates.

A makeshift hut that children are bound to love.

The ferocity when it was cleaning its feathers looked like he was about to pluck them right off!

I really like this small bridge, it's so dainty.

This pretty bird is very talkative!

Sunny's its name!

Birdie birdie where art thou?

Je suis la!

Owl be prowling!

The pond for duckies and all other birds who enjoy a good afternoon swim.

Kids getting excited to see cute baby mandarin ducks! I love how they keep on cooing "Oooohhhh, look at the babies, they're so cute!"

I don't know why but this birdie just sits there basking in the warmth of the evening sun. When it stands up, it has unusually long legs that surprises me a little.

Finally a photo on the roundabout before leaving. It gets really hot in Utah after noon, so I would recommend you to visit in the morning to avoid the heat! I'm wearing my leather jacket here for good photos sake but I'm actually sweating on the inside!

What I like about Tracy Aviary:
  1. Conservation efforts that are carried out to ensure the life quality of birds.
  2. A beautiful, well-kept area that exudes tranquility.
  3. Signboards are present to explain all the species available. 
  4. Several artsy makeshift structures like the teepee and hut that are suitable for kids.
  5. Family-friendly environment that provides quality family-bonding opportunities.
Suggestions for improvement:
  1. If possible, I'd like to see water dispensers in the park. 
  2. Build more attractions for kids like interactive manual games for children, for example a clay model of a bird's claw, fun facts for kids etc.

If you'd like to pay a visit to Tracy Aviary, it is open 7 days a week, 9am-5pm and ticket prices are as shown below. Click on the picture to be directed to the page.


Tracy Aviary also provides volunteer opportunities to local youth. Click here to find out more.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Jamie, the Communications and Membership Coordinator of Tracy Aviary for granting me media credentials to visit the aviary in exchange for a post-visit write-up. Visiting Tracy Aviary was definitely an eye-opening experience, and I had so much fun exploring it with Danielle, my photographer of the day.

* I was provided with free entrance in exchange for a post-visit write-up. No compensation monetary or otherwise is involved. This is an honest account of my explorations in Tracy Aviary and all photos used are either my own or extracted from Tracy Aviary's official website. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival

I decided to visit the Tulip Festival in Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah during my last days in Salt Lake City. I've never attended a tulip festival before, especially not in Malaysia cos it's too hot for a single tulip to grow. I was pretty excited about it because it's gonna be a flower fest! I went there with Dani and Tayyeb. I received 2 media passes, so Tayyeb bought his own ticket.

At the entrance it says Ashton Gardens.

We reached around 10am, and although the sun is up, it is not too hot. There's already a huge crowd near the entrance and gift shop areas. I would recommend you to come as soon as the gates open, because when the clock strikes 12, it's going to be very, very hot! 

Tayyeb's awesome photography skills. I really don't know how he manages to capture this, but it's really cool.

Love this colour, so vibrant and fiery!

As usual, Dani poses like a queen.

Dani and Tayyeb taking a selfie shot while pretending to photograph me.

This one turned out really nice! I'm trying to catch umbrellas which are flying into the sky. A surreal Miyazaki-style scene.

Please excuse my pained look. I've got the sun in my eyes.

My face looks a bit distorted in this but it's ok!

Beautiful blossoms.

You almost can't see my eyes.

My yoga pose.

We absolutely love the waterfall! I can sense a slight temperature drop near the waterfall as the water absorbs heat. But the scorch is still there. I would recommend you to put on sunscreen before coming here. I did not put any sunscreen, and when I came home to Malaysia 2 days later, I swear I was 3 shades darker. Dani suffered a mild burn on her face and arms. So don't risk it ok?

Me and Tayyeb.

Me and Tayyeb doing the unbeatable pose at the Waterfall.

The Rose Garden was pretty, but the flowers were withering under the Sun, and so were we.

Me and bae.

Last but not least, a beautiful photo of the 3 of us. :)

Pros: A beautiful place perfect for family outings, child-friendly, wheelchair accessible.
Suggestions for improvement: 
  1. Plant tulips in abundance on one particular piece of land (my suggestion is at least 1 acre), not just by the walkways.
  2. Set up markers to identify the different species available. 
  3. Install water dispensers throughout the walkway for thirsty visitors. 
  4. Set up more benches in the shades for visitors to take a quick rest. It gets really hot at noon.
  5. Open doors earlier, say at 7am, because the sun is up by then, and the weather is cooler.

A big thanks to Josh, the Communications Director of Thanksgiving Point for the media credentials. We really enjoyed ourselves at Thanksgiving Point and would love to visit again!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Argentine Tango Night @ U

I don't know what prompted me to go to the Argentine Tango Night @ U, even when Danielle Sheremeta is not going with me. I don't know anything about tango other than doing the front and back walking while giggling hysterically with Dani and that was it, seriously.
It was a last minute decision as I contemplated dinner or dancing (I just came back from World Market), and settled on the latter. Well, I'm glad I did!
I enjoyed myself a lot and learned some new moves. For example, the 8-step for beginners. I'm weird with people but at least I tried, ok.
Thanks to Chris for the lesson, and Sergey and Brian for being excellent lead(er)s. And to everyone who danced with me, I'm sorry about my sweaty palms. It happens whenever I'm nervous. frown emoticon I feel so bad about it but I can't avoid it.
Carpe Lotion this is why I really, really hope you can perform miracles on me. Fingers crossed and prayers to God. I'll be buying your product in batches if it works, I promise!
Thanks to Global UGRAD Malaysia Global UGRAD 2015-2016 for giving me the chance to explore so many new possibilities in life!